Why Talk To A Professional

Because your mental health deserves expert care. In a world where stress, anxiety, and life’s challenges can feel overwhelming, our team of experienced therapists is here to be your compass in the storm. Please don’t go through these struggles alone; let us help you find your way to calmer shores. Connect with us today, and together, we’ll work towards building a stronger and happier you.

Succeeding at Work

When you’re thinking about whether to tell your workplace about a mental health condition, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. Consider potential issues like how your coworkers might treat you because of the condition, but also remember your rights to reasonable accommodations, which are protected by the law. Stigma and stereotypes can sometimes lead to unfair treatment, but there are legal safeguards in place to protect you at work.

Protection Against Discrimination:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prevents discrimination against people with disabilities when they apply for jobs or work. To be protected under the ADA, you must meet two key criteria:

  • You need to have a disability that significantly affects your daily or work-related activities, like concentration or communication.
  • You must be able to do your job’s essential tasks, either with or without some reasonable adjustments.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a law that’s similar to the ADA, and it applies to organizations getting federal funding, including public schools and universities. This law protects federal government employees and people at these institutions from disability-based discrimination. Also, many states have their own laws to protect employees from workplace discrimination.

Requesting More Time Off:
Sometimes, you might need an extended break to deal with a mental health crisis. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave when you’re personally ill or caring for a family member. This act lets you take time off while keeping your job and benefits. To qualify for FMLA, you generally need to have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months, and it applies to employers with more than 50 employees. You can get more information about FMLA from the Department of Labor.

Accommodations at Work:

Even though you must show you can do your job’s main tasks, you have the right to reasonable accommodations, which are changes in company rules or procedures to help you perform your job better. Some examples of accommodations include:

  • Adjusted work schedules or start times.
  • Reducing distractions or noise in your workspace.
  • Working from home.
  • Getting written instructions and task lists.
  • Regular feedback, written or spoken.
  • Flexible break times.
  • Having a quiet place to rest during breaks.
  • Using a job coach.

How to Request Accommodations:
You need to initiate a request for accommodations. After you make a request, your employer must talk to you about possible accommodations. Before you start the process:

  • Check with your company’s human resources (HR) department for the accommodation request procedure.
  • Decide what accommodations you need and explain how they’ll help you do your job.
  • Put your request in writing.
  • Consult your mental health provider for documentation. They can write a note explaining your condition and the need for accommodation.
  • Keep records of all your interactions with your employer.
  • Be prepared to negotiate and consider other options.

Facing Discrimination:
If you believe you’re facing discrimination due to your mental health, you have several legal options:

  • File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if your employer falls under the ADA.
  • If your employer is associated with a federal government agency, file a complaint with the agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEO).
  • If your state has laws similar to the ADA, file a complaint with your local Fair Employment Practice Agency (FEPA).
  • If your FMLA request is denied, contact the Department of Labor to file a complaint.